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Excerpted from The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire by Deepak Chopra. Copyright © 2003 by Deepak Chopra. Excerpted by permission of Random House, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"The third level of existence consists of intelligence, or consciousness."

  Deepak Chopra
The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire
, Part 5

There is an analogy that illustrates this point. Scientists know that it takes a snail about three seconds to register light. So imagine that a snail was watching me, and that I left the room, robbed a bank, and came back in three seconds. As far as the snail was concerned, I never left the room. I could take her to court and she would provide a perfect alibi. For the snail, the time that I was gone from the room would fall into one of those gaps between the frames of flickering existence. Her sense of continuity, assuming snails have one, would simply not register the gap.

So the sensory experience of all living beings is a purely artificial perceptual construct created in the imagination. There is a Zen story in which two monks are looking at a flag that is waving in the wind. The first one says, "The flag is waving." The second one says, "No, the wind is moving." Their teacher comes over and they pose him the question. "Who's right? I say the flag is moving. He says the wind is moving." The teacher says, "You are both wrong. Only consciousness is moving." As consciousness moves, it imagines the world into existence.

So the mind is a field of energy and information. Every idea is also energy and information. You have imagined your physical body and the whole physical world into existence by perceiving energy soup as distinct physical entities. But where does the mind responsible for this imagination come from?


The third level of existence consists of intelligence, or consciousness. This can be called the virtual domain, the spiritual domain, the field of potential, the universal being, or nonlocal intelligence. This is where information and energy emerge from a sea of possibilities. The most fundamental, basic level of nature is not material; it is not even energy and information soup; it is pure potential. This level of nonlocal reality operates beyond the reach of space and time, which simply do not exist at this level. We call it nonlocal because it cannot be confined by a location--it is not "in" you or "out there." It simply is.

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